Art News from Margaret Shiu of BCS #08:Under such times use this time wisely

Art News from Margaret Shiu of BCS
Cultural Management


Art News from Margaret Shiu of BCS #08:Under such times use this time wisely

Who would have known, when I wrote about a probable pandemic on our hands, I was hoping for a world with enough time lag to be prepared and flatten the curve as they say? But that was not to be, so how can we face this order to carry on, and be able to share our creative ways to reach others in similar or even worse situation than we are?

Many experts are predicting a lock down in urban areas in the world for over four months and probably six! Forget Easter, forget graduation ceremonies, forget your family reunion, forget grandma’s 80th? How can the planet make us do that? Well it did just that, so instead of being stressed out, go see how others are coping and also see the ways the creative arts are helping us enjoy our solitude as couch potatoes, and also ‘touch’ others in so many new ways.

What can you and I do as artists? If you are like me, who believes in the power of art to heal, to support, to touch without touching, and to use our medium to solicit the five senses, to lead others to face up to the challenge, then this maybe the best of times to do that. 

Check out everything on FB, IG, Twitter on the diverse arts community, from museums, to culture venues, offer free access to their online browsing, and try out DIY home make art projects for all ages, and more, much more….

I am most impressed by the way to true kindness of ordinary people in caring for others that may not be your family and friends, from those Germans who leave perishable and nonperishable food, and necessities on the roadside, to share with whoever in need in urban areas, (where many may not be the usual homeless, but are currently unemployed and in destitute, they could not come up with the needed funds to support their family.) then there is the call and immediate response that warms our hearts when NYC ask retired medical personal to return to help their colleagues, or out of town medics came voluntarily to the city, the immediate response is so great. It is so, so heartwarming that we just maybe able to see the curve flattening soon in urban settings. It is time to see how NYC after weathering 911 also faces up to the challenge and let us learn from them again?

So how I see this? For many that are now working from home and or under quarantine, this maybe a best time, best opportunity to restock re-evaluate your juncture in life, and how that fits into the bigger picture in the world. This is ME time! Now we know national borders are meaningless, and UN does not represent all peoples in the world, (neither do they care enough about all living creatures…) there is but one world! Who where how when why, I am part of this, is a good time to rethink?  We had been so busy 7-11 chasing the tasks on hand, maybe this is time we take stock and reset? 

While we do that yoga pose and meditate to destress the news on TV, maybe use these classic Chinese guidelines, that we Chinese children all knew but simply choose to forget what it is really all about? Then maybe we stop and find ourselves first, before we move on, after the curve flattens out in our township?

Chinese proverbs that we should use to rethink how it can be good food for thoughts:
From the first two lines of the “Thousand-character classic” a basic learning tool for all children:

《三字經》: 人之初,性本善
At the beginning of life, man is good in nature

This is time to bring out the best in us, and that we trust the good heartedness, and the pure soul of each and every one for caring of others, instead of the competitive ways we divide and conquer each other?  Let’s work on ways to help our hidden values and possible efforts shine? How we bring that to use with the era of internet and the tech options, that we can use to chorale all such efforts into multipurpose portals to amplify the impact? 

However, we must use this time and set aside time for our inner self development too, it is sad, but an opportunity while too bored working from home, to read the following Confucian classic quote. This may lead us to that vision mission and goal in our actions that can match the needs of the current reality?


Rough Translation: from the Confucian Canons in the “Book of Rites”: the relationship of the three was the aims chain as " self - cultivation , regulating the family , governing the state , and making the whole kingdom peaceful and happy "

As artists, facing such inequality in distribution of resources in facing this agenda for all humans, we must take stock of what each and every one of us can do, and are doing to bring these in alignment for a better tomorrow for ourselves first, our own family, our country and for the world at large for all humanity and beyond… a tall order, but as we saw, a small food basket started the ball rolling in Europe, for immediate food sharing to those in need, regardless of who the receiver is…

Look to our inner self, look outside and look what we can fit in to make a better tomorrow together, be it sharing economy, or creative support to others in need, or set up a fun artsy video to help stuck at home working mums in virtual babysitting? 

We are in this together and we will survive together now, we as artists, can join in via new creative ways too.

I bet you a new global agenda is forthcoming after this chaos, and a new operating procedure will result for future staff management, work hours, supply and demand, and operation modes of many industries. But most importantly, now we will treasure socialization and shared family times that much more.  With pain there will be a new growth in our society.

At least mother nature let earth breathe again, and the sky is blue with spring birds singing with no one on spring picnic below.

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